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Page last updated at 11:26 GMT, Friday, 23 January 2009

Webscape

Kate Russell
By Kate Russell
Click Webscape-r

Kate Russell gives us her latest selection of the best sites on the World Wide Web.

The best of the web with Kate Russell

GLADINET (www.gladinet.com)

Gladinet logo

Cloud computing is a phrase you may have heard if you use a lot of online storage facilities, like Picasa & Google Docs.

It refers to the Internet as a cloud space - taken from the way the Internet is represented in computer network diagrams.

There is a brilliant free utility I have found that removes the web interface from many of these applications and allows you to access them as local files from your own desktop.

Gladinet.com is the URL - all you have to do is download and install and the Gladinet Cloud becomes resident in your sys tray (on the task bar usually at the bottom right of your screen on Windows).

I had a conflict with Skype when I installed because it uses the same port. Don't worry though - the error message gives you a link to a trouble-shooting guide that will simply step you through the solution.

Once installed all you have to do is enter your username and password for the sites you want to connect to, and then the cloud desktop opens from your sys tray and appears like any other windows explorer tree on your computer.

This is the perfect utility for people who trade a lot of files between their PC and their cloud spaces as it allows you to treat the applications and storage sites like any other local folder or file on your computer.

And if you want more information on the intricate workings of your cloud desktop, just pop along to YouTube and do a search for Gladinet.

You will find plenty of step-by-step videos to help you along the way. This is a Windows only utility at present, but hopefully when they pass through beta stage they'll open it up to other operating systems and online applications.

ROBOFORM (www.roboform.com)

Roboform logo

As I use more and more sites and online applications my capacity to remember passwords, and to be honest my patience in filling out lengthy forms, has become eroded. Enter Roboform - my new online best friend.

Roboform.com is the URL - and after a quick download and install you'll be asked to set a master password to protect all your data and then launched onto a webpage containing both video & online tutorials for all the aspects of this utility.

One of the features is password manager. You need to set up a passcard for all the sites you log in to - this is super easy as the form opens up automatically the first time you perform the login process.

You can also add passcards & logins through the browser bar. Once done, simply clicking on the Roboform passcard will open the site and enter all your user data without any more clicks from you.

And how about those dreaded Internet forms? By creating an identity, again through the Roboform menu bar in your browser window, you can input all the data fields you might be asked for - including name, date of birth, address - and even your bank and credit card details if you wish.

Once you have saved the data, when you come across a form that needs filling in just click your identity in the toolbar and ask Roboform to fill out the form.

RECYCLING REVOLUTION (http://www.recycling-revolution.com)

A Recycling Revolution

You hear a lot of talk these days about the environment - and the need to recycle in order to preserve precious resources. Sounds easy. But how much do you really know about recycling and how to live in harmony with the planet?

Recycling-revolution.com is a website I've found that offers a really down-to-earth introduction to all things recycle related. And it's not as simple as you might imagine. There are all sorts of rules and guidelines to adhere to if you want to make your recycling the most efficient, and ways to recycle you might not have thought about before - such as selling old clothes and toys in a yard sale or carboot sale.

This site was created by a lady trying to educate her husband on what can and cannot be recycled. It's plain and to the point and emphasises the fact that every little counts.

INTROVERSION (www.introversion.com)

Introversion website

Now to possibly the slickest blog on the Internet - painstakingly put together by a creative New Yorker known only as PK.

There aren't many words on the site - but I simply love the concept. Many of the entries are interactive and involve music and sound and pictures and video all lovingly crafted together into a singular form of artistic expression.

I especially like the Biographic page which you can access through a link at the top. As you drag your mouse about the screen you'll compose a twinkly tune, at the same as revealing little nuggets of information about the site creator. Beautifully done. A prince among blogs.

KELKOO - UK ONLY (http://m.kelkoo.co.uk)

Kelkoo

Here is a really neat service for UK shoppers out hunting for a bargain. Imagine you're in a store, about to buy the latest PC notebook or LCD TV and there isn't a sales rep available to tell you about the features.

More than that though - how do you know you won't get it cheaper online? Well whip out your mobile phone and head to m.kelkoo.co.uk.

Just plug in the product details and the kelkoo search engine will return all the information you need to make an informed buying decision.

The website claims a 15-20% saving is possible compared to High Street prices - and now you won't have to wait until you get home to check where the best deals are to be had. Happy shopping.



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